Wednesday, February 06, 2002

Arthur Dent had his Thursdays, well, I can't get the hang of Tuesdays. If "BUFFY" wasn't on Tuesdays, I swear I wouldn't bother getting out of bed.

Yesterday I got a recommendation from an L.A. writer to try out a formerly high-profile entertainment magazine. He was friends with the editor, had a great reputation. I send away - a query letter of high quality charm and ... um, quality. The return message is prompt: the magazine has changed formats. It's business related now, not entertainment related. It's been years since I worked in a movie theater. Sure, I've run projectors and sold popcorn, but mostly, I just cleaned up after people. So... no luck there.

A second rejection really burned me, though. It was for a "Movie Lovers" anthology. I hadn't realized it at the time, but it was to be a "Chicken Soup for the Soul" type of book, which is fine. But the pieces I submitted were rejected for being "too intellectual". The editor asked me to "dumb it down". Now, the editor is a bright, intelligent woman, who I believe incorrectly chose the words "dumb it down". I understand what she means now and I wish the project the best of luck. But at the same time, it really irked me.

I'm working on this book for Great Britain called TWISTED REALITIES which covers a whole mass of American Indie filmmakers - Jim VanBebber, Ron Bonk, Kevin Lindenmuth - I'm doing pieces on Eric Stanze, Jon Keeyes and Debbie Rochon. This is being pitched as a serious look at contemporary filmmaking. To British intellectuals and film societies. And gore hounds, of course, but... Now, would we even ATTEMPT to pitch something like this to an American market, we'd get roundly told off about it. "No one would care!" "Your market's too small!" "Why can't you write about Angelina Jolie and that nice Kevin Smith person?"

Filmmakers are all too often "dumbing it down" for the audiences. Rebecca Romaijn-Stamos told journalists that the new version of ROLLERBALL isn't as - and this is a direct quote - "thinky" as the original. Because god forbid people sit down and actually think while watching a movie. We can't have too many "thinky" movies. Is it just hindsight or did movies in the thirties and forties have scripts as well as laughs? Didn't Shakespeare write high and low humor into his plays for both the nobles and the commoners?

"Dumb it down, Einstein, some of us just want to be entertained."

Tuesday, February 05, 2002

THE RESURRECTION GAME novelization is now available at This is very exciting. It means that I am officially "in the system" and can now start annoying managers at the live stores to physically carry the book. Soon to be remaindered at a book store near you! :)

Monday, February 04, 2002

Relatively productive weekend.

Had what might possibly be the final photoshoot for THE RESURRECTION GAME. Associate producers Charlie Fleming and Tim Gross came over to the abode, joined shortly there-after by major supporter Jim Steinhoff. Co-Producer Bill Homan got the three gentlement into zombie make-up and then other co-producer Amy Lynn Best shoved them in front of the camera, took pictures of the three dead guys hamming it up. Then I joined in. Then the three producers ourselves got in the picture with the zombies. We even added Necro-Phil into the shots. These will be the only pictures where Amy, Bill and I all appear in the same shot! Usually one of us has to shoot the picture. Even when photographer extraordinaire Theresa Glenn worked for us, we somehow managed to miss getting in together.

Afterwards, we started to brainstorm about my "video Bio" for the upcoming CARNIVAL CD-ROM coming out through Brian Hopkins' Lone Wolf Publications. LWP likes multimedia files for their fiction anthologies, wanted interactive bios, music, that sort of thing. I figured I'd get Charlie to shoot a little interview with me on Mini-DV, but when it came time to do it, I suddenly went blank. I was actually intimidated by my room of close friends. That said close-friends delight on torturing me might have had something to do with it.

I tried using the "Mike Puppet" that Bill built of me - high forehead, grey hair and big mouth. And no eyebrows. It's a terrific Muppet, but not the most flattering depiction of me ever created.

The Muppet idea went over like a lead balloon. Reminded me of an old performance when we were all doing Rocky Horror at the Hollywood Theater. One of us had the bright idea to use a manniquin as "Janet". It was really funny for two minutes. Then it just became unbearably sad.

Finally, Tim began to actually ask me questions about writing, horror movies, etc. That seemed to go quite well. Charlie and I will sit down and edit the footage sometime during the week. To hedge my bets, though, I'll probably submit a text bio and .jpg pictures to Brian Hopkins. You know, just to be sure...


Friday, February 01, 2002

Welcome to Random Acts of Mike Watt.

Following in the vast English shoes of Neil Gaiman, I decided to start my own Blogger. For fun, not because I think I could possibly follow in Mr. Gaiman's footsteps.

Mostly, I want to talk about the publication of my first book: THE RESURRECTION GAME. This is a novelization, actually, based on the screenplay of the movie of the same name. I wrote the script for that, then filmed it with my partners, Amy Lynn Best and Bill Homan. They co-star in the film as well. I show up occassionally to be killed. The movie, if you're interested, can be researched at the terrifically meandering official site:

The book, and I hope you're interested, can be found HERE

There are other webpages that I maintain as well: I have an official "Author's Den" at:Author's Den: Mike Watt

Hollywood is Burning is located at:

Amy's official site is:

I also write for Femme Fatales Magazine. They can be found here:

Please feel free to drop in, or email me, or what have you. Particularly the "whathaveyou" part. That's always fun.